Fair enough, although I have to grin at the notion of "unworthy opponents". That kind of thinking is how nations end up losing wars.
Touche. One reason for that kind of thinking, and the empire's downfall, was an exaggerated sense of exceptionalism beyond nationalism on the part of Japan and Japanese. Kurita himself seems to have vacillated in his postwar assessment of his own decision making at Samar, from regretting his decision to standing by it, all the way up to refusing to speak with Toland in the course of his research for The Rising Sun to explain it.
'm not sure they are if Lundstrom gave you the impression that 280 aircraft on 10 carriers were constantly attacking after landing and rearming in 15-minute cycles.
My exact words here were "...and whose decks were close enough to cycle rearmed aircraft back over the target area 10-15 minutes after launch." Poor choice of the word "cycle" on my part. What I should have said was "...and whose decks were close enough to put aircraft over the target area 10-15 minutes after launch." I respect the competence of the USN, but 15-minute aircraft arming cycles would be impossible for any navy.
Or that Spruance's "warning" meant that all 16 CVE had a torpedo strike ready and waiting for what was to come.
The reason I mentioned this message was to counter the argument that the carrier airpower potential of TG77.4 was not capable of the anti-shipping mission, either in general or on October 25. The issuance of such a message to Kincaid the morning of October 25 indicates a belief on the part of USN flag-rank officers otherwise.
Three DD and two DE did a lot of damage firing 34 torpedoes. The poor use of the Japanese DD had a lot to do with the outcome as well.
They did, and the Japanese DDs could have acquitted themselves a hell of a lot better in retrospect. Although I suspect that if the purported effectiveness of strafing against light warships versus heavier types is taken into account, the presence of a significant number of USN Hellcats and Wildcats throughout the day with .50 caliber ammunition loads and no Japanese fighters to expend them against may have had an effect on Japanese DD performance.
Samar itself should probably be considered the ultimate laboratory test of the effectiveness of strafing against warships, as there were plenty of fighters with motivation to strafe present, no Japanese air cover for the fighters to engage or to bother them while executing their strafing runs, and a comprehensive sample of warship types available for strafing, ranging from DDs to the heaviest battleship ever launched.
Not having one's second-tier jeep carrier being ventilated by an honest-to-goodness line of battle does allow for a bit more tranquility
It does. I would also say, however, that at this point in history, not having air cover for surface ships in the presence of enemy carrier airpower in daylight does not.
The fog of war is easily dispelled by a good collation of AAR's and other data. Why someone made a decision is often based on intuition, gut instinct, panic, training and doctrine. How it ends up is probably also a great many dice rolls of luck.
I would agree with this in just about every aspect.
As far as panic goes, I would not want to be aboard a Japanese DD later in the day with McCain's TG38.1 fleet carrier strike piloted by what some might consider the first team of USN naval aviators, and armed with bombs instead of torpedoes, inbound.
Edited by Nobu, 24 May 2019 - 1625 PM.